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Question for my friend - good hospitals in St. Alban's area

(12 Posts)
mummytosteven Sat 02-Apr-05 17:34:10

My good friend has just found out she is PG. Any hospitals you would recommend in the St Albans area for ante-natal care/birth?


cupcakes Sat 02-Apr-05 18:06:14

I have a friend who lives in St Albans who has one child and is pregnant with her second. She had to have her ds at Watford which she really didn't like. She did get to start her labour (until she had complications) at a midwife led birthing centre either in or very near St Albans (sorry, I don't know it's name but maybe someone else can help!) which she says was wonderful and she is hoping to deliver her second baby there. She spent most of her labour whilst there in their water birth facilities which she says really helped her. Plus she found the midwives really wonderful.
Hope you can find out the name of the place as it sounded really good (sorry, my friend is away).

misdee Sat 02-Apr-05 18:17:25

not the QE2 in welwyn garden city either.

JiminyCricket Sat 02-Apr-05 20:31:59

I looked at the site yesterday and they have statistics for a lot of uk hosps, e.g. caesarian rate etc if that helps (seems like some of the hosps don't give data though)

mummytosteven Mon 04-Apr-05 19:58:35

will tell my friend to have a look at birthchoice.

GP today told my friend her choice was between Welwyn and Watford.

any ideas as to which one is better?

Pinotmum Mon 04-Apr-05 20:05:20

My SIL has just given birth in Welwyn and was happy - shes a complainer so they must have been ok She had a water birth, gas and air only and delivered a 10'3' boy, her first baby (some stitches obviously). It brought a tear to her eye in more ways than one I am told.

anorak Mon 04-Apr-05 20:12:11

I had antenatal care at St Albans and my son was born at Hemel Hempstead. St Albans doesn't have a maternity wing as far as I'm aware. I was very happy with the care at HH but not sure they still do maternity.

They definitely have a maternity unit at Watford but I've no experience of it. However I did spend a week in Watford when I broke my leg, and DD1 spent a few days in there with something else. In both cases I was very pleased with most aspects of the care.

pabla Mon 04-Apr-05 21:06:39

I live in St Albans. Generally ante natal care here is provided at your gp surgery by community midwives or your gp. The booking-in appointment is done at the local hospital and there are regular ante-natal clinics there too, eg if you had to see someone on the consultant's team about a complication. The ante-natal classes are also held at the local hospital. The local branch of the NCT also runs ante-natal classes and these are very popular so your friend should book in early if she wants these. They are a good way of meeting other new parents, if nothing else.

I had my first two babies at Hemel Hempstead when it had a full maternity unit. Hemel now only has a midwife-led birth centre and providing there are no known complications, your friend could give birth there, even though it is her first. (This is probably the one you are thinking of cupcakes.) I had some ante-natal care there with my third and thought it was lovely - wished I could have had him there. However, as I had had complications after the delivery of my second, they wouldn't even consider letting me give birth there. This is because they want to minimise the risk of an ambulance transfer to a different hospital if there are any complications during the delivery. I had my third baby at Watford, where they have a midwife-led birth centre as well as a regular delivery ward. If anything goes wrong in the birth centre you can be whisked upstairs to the delivery suite in minutes. I wanted to go to the Watford birth centre but unfortunately for various reasons I ended up going to the regular section.

Lots of people here also go to the QE2 at Welwyn, especially if they live in the northern part of the city. Anyone I know who went there was v. happy with it. Your friend may need to specifically request that hospital, if it is her preferred one, I think because St Albans is outside its regular catchment area.

All the hospitals welcome visits where you have a look around. I think your friend needs to decide if she wants a birth-centre or standard delivery suite (or home birth which is very popular here!) and take it from there. I don't know how much she should go by other people's experiences - it very much depends on the midwives you have and the circumstances of the birth, IMO. For example, I was perfectly happy with the care, etc during my ds's birth. However, I wasn't happy that he spent 24 hours in Special Care the next day, but that is another story....

sparklymieow Mon 04-Apr-05 21:09:00

I gave birth at the QE2 three times, generally their care is good, but can be dismissive of younger mums. Their SCBU is fab, tho you have to keep on at them to keep you fully informed, tho hopefully your friend won't need SCBU.

slappawappa Wed 06-Apr-05 20:16:50

Hi Thanks for your responses - I am MummyToSteven's friend... am thinking of Watford atm as it has both a midwife led unit and a hospital attached - also after my cousin's awful labour (diomorphine, 2 epidurals, vontoose, forceps and then ceasar) (mummy 5ft 3 and baby 9lb 10oz fine)... I am erring on the side of caution... Also good transport for my Mother!

mummytosteven Wed 06-Apr-05 20:19:59


you have at last succumbed to the evil lure of MN

Christie Wed 06-Apr-05 21:50:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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